July 30, 2014

Medina
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Main Street Medina celebrates successes, looks to future

MEDINA—Thursday was a celebration of both Main Street Medina’s accomplishments during the past year and the organization’s continual success under its retiring chairman, Ed Wright.

The Main Street Medina annual meeting Thursday at FirstMerit Bank on Public Square included the election of new officers for 2014. For the first time in the group’s six years of existence, the board will not be led by Wright. The man many described as the driving force behind Main Street Medina’s formation handed the reins over to new Chairman Keith Williams at the end of the meeting. Before that moment, however, Main Street Medina’s accomplishments for 2013 were recounted.

“In 2013, we really knocked the ball out of the park,” Wright said.

He said Main Street Medina’s budget increased by 23 percent this past year and ended 2013 in “excellent financial shape.”

We estimate that in the past year we brought in 130,000 people to this community just for the events,” Wright said. “We estimate those activities brought in somewhere around $1.3 million that went back into the community as a result of all those events.”

In its first year, Main Street Medina hosted four events on the square. In contrast, there were approximately 50 events in 2013, including the weekly farmers market that came under Main Street Medina’s umbrella at the beginning of the year.

“That’s a huge number compared to six years ago,” Wright said, adding that another $1 million probably was brought in by shoppers at the farmers market.

Both Mayor Dennis Hanwell and Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley commended Wright on his contributions to those accomplishments during his tenure as chairman. Main Street Medina Executive Director Matt Wiederhold also presented him with a proclamation in his honor from the Ohio Senate.

“We’ve never seen the square so vibrant,” said Hanwell, adding that City Hall has made Main Street Medina a priority in terms of staff support.

Heritage Ohio Director of Revitalization Jeff Siegler, whose organization oversees all of the Main Street programs throughout the state, said Medina stands out as a topnotch example of a vital downtown.

“We at Heritage Ohio really do hold up Medina as one of the best in the state,” Siegler said.

Rounding out the annual meeting,Williams spoke about his vision for Main Street Medina’s future. He hopes to continue to grow the historic district by bringing in more nightlife and hotels.

“My vision of the square is shared by a lot of people, and that is to make it into an entertainment destination. I think we’re very, very close to doing that,” Williams said. “We need maybe one more restaurant, maybe a wine bar — I hear we’re very close to that — and a microbrewery.”

In addition to Williams as chairman, vice chairwoman is Carole Kowell, treasurer is Ed McGannon and secretary is Barbara Dzur. The new 2014 Main Street Medina board members are John Gorsek, Sharon Mattison, Bob Berry, Steve Ferris and Medina Community Development Director Jonathan Mendel.

Ex-officio members include Wright, Chuck Calvert, Nanci Shanley, Medina Economic Development Director Kimberly Rice and Leslie Traves.

Also recognized were retiring board members Monica Carmont, Greg Hannan, P.M. Jones, Glen Levar, Lance Traves and Eric Shaffer. Nancy Johnson was introduced at the meeting as Main Street Medina’s new parttime employee.

Contact reporter Pamela J. Miller at (330)-721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.